Olympic Games symbol 2016
Olympic Games symbol 2016Photo: Nati Shohat/Flash 90

One of Britain’s leading Paralympic athletes insists that a minute of silence be held at the opening ceremony at this summer’s Olympic Games which are to be held in Rio, in memory of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Games.  

The UK’s Jewish News reported that Ade Adepitan, a wheelchair basketball medalist, told the publication that, “it was an atrocity which was committed in the Olympic Village, and of course that’s how we should remember and commemorate within the Olympic world.”

The British Jewish community and families of the 11 murdered Israelis lobbied hard for a minute’s silence to be included at the London Games in 2012, but were unsuccessful. Despite gaining more than 80,000 signatures on a petition for a tribute, the request was still denied.

Now, they are once again trying to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to remember the slain Israelis at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that start on August 5.

Mr. Adepitan, who was awarded an MBE for his services to disabled sports, appeared as a guest speakers at the annual dinner of UK Friends of Yad Sarah, an Israeli charity that lends out wheelchairs, crutches and other equipment.

Also working as a TV presenter, anchoring numerous shows on BBC about disabled sports, Adepitan spoke passionately about the difference that a wheelchair has made in his life.

Adepitan said that he was “honored” to be addressing the charity, particularly after listening to the other guest speaker, Dan Alon. Alon is a former Israeli fencer who was one of the few to escape the horrific acts of violence committed by the Palestinian terrorist group, Black September, during the Munich attack where they held Israeli Olympic team members hostage for nearly a day before killing them.

Eleven hostages as well as all but three of the terrorists were killed during a failed rescue operation at a nearby airport, where the hostages were taken to be flown to an unnamed Arab country. The massacre inspired a number of dramatizations, including the 2005 Steven Spielberg film “Munich.”